The Executive Office for Immigration Review recently took disciplinary action against fifteen attorneys for violations of the rules of professional conduct for immigration practitioners. Two attorneys were reinstated.
The following four attorneys were issued orders of immediate suspension: Gabrielle Alexis, suspended based on her suspension in Florida; Anita C. Kanu, suspended based on her disbarment in the District of Columbia; Evenette Mondesir, suspended based on her suspension in Florida; and Emeka M. Uyamadu, suspended based on her suspension in Texas.
The eleven final orders of discipline involved Derrick G. Arjune, expelled based on his disbarment in New York and a criminal conviction; Royal Daniel, III, expelled based on his disbarment in Colorado; Jorge De La Mar, suspended for sixty days based on his sixty-day suspension in Florida; Christina S. Denison, suspended for one year based on her one-year suspension in Washington; Timothy Darnell Flowers, suspended for one year based on his one-year suspension in Tennessee; Grace Smith Foltz, expelled based on her disbarment by consent in Pennsylvania; Patrick John McGreal, expelled based on his disbarment in Illinois; Gaetanella Molinini-Rivera, suspended for five years based on her five-year suspension in New York; Cheryl Nance, suspended indefinitely based on her suspension in Washington; Maria Lara Peet, expelled based on her disbarment in Florida; and John Udo, expelled based on his disbarment in Massachusetts.
The two attorneys reinstated are John Himmelstein, who completed his one-year-and-one-day suspension, and Brandon Marinoff, who completed his twelve-month suspension.
Scialabba New USCIS Deputy Director; Bucher Now Associate Director of RAIO
USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas selected Lori Scialabba as the Deputy Director of USCIS and Steve Bucher as the Associate Director of Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate.
Scialabba will be the career Deputy Director effective May 8. Since 2006, she has served as RAIO's Associate Director. From September 2008 through January 2009, she also served as the Senior Advisor on Iraqi Refugees to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Before joining DHS, she was Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals; she was appointed to the Board in March 1998 and became Vice Chairman in June 1999. She began her career with the Department of Justice in October 1985 through the Attorney General's Honors Program. She held positions in the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and then in the Office of Immigration Litigation in DOJ's Civil Division.
Steve Bucher will take over as Associate Director on May 8. Since 2007, he has served as RAIO's Deputy Associate Director. From 2006 to 2007, he served as Deputy Associate Director for National Security and Records Verification, and from 2000 to 2006 as the Deputy Director and Acting Director of Service Center Operations. During his nineteen years with USCIS and INS, he also worked with the Office of Naturalization Operations and the Office of Records in Washington, D.C. and the Western Regional Office in Laguna Niguel, California.
DOL Announces Protocols for U Applicants' Law Enforcement Certifications
On April 28, DOL announced protocols to complete the portion of the U visa application requiring certification by a law enforcement agency that the applicant is a victim of a qualifying crime and willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of that crime.
The U visa certification process has been delegated to the Wage and Hour Division's regional administrators located in five cities around the country. WHD will refer the underlying criminal activity to appropriate law enforcement agencies in accordance with its normal referral procedures. After WHD completes a certification, the victim still must apply to USCIS for the visa.
WHD will consider completing U certifications based on five qualifying criminal activities -- involuntary servitude, peonage, trafficking, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering - when it detects them in the process of investigating a violation of an employment law under its jurisdiction.
"I am pleased that the department's Wage and Hour Division has developed protocols and can begin completing U visa certifications for immigrants who are victims of crimes and willing to cooperate with law enforcement," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Because many wage and hour investigations take place in industries using vulnerable workers in abusive situations, the Wage and Hour Division is often the first federal agency to make contact with these workers and detect criminal activity in the workplace."
DOL released a "Questions and Answers" set about the new protocols, which is reprinted at Appendix A. Related Field Assistance Bulletin No 2011-1, dated April 28, 2011, is reprinted at Appendix B.
BITS AND PIECES
USCIS - On April 15, 2011, USCIS Ombudsman January Contreras released her recommendations on special immigration juvenile adjudications. The Ombudsman found two broad issues arising in SIJ processing: lack of consistent expertise being applied in adjudications, and delays in file transfers between USCIS and other DHS components. In addition, she found that some USCIS offices seemed unfamiliar with techniques for interviewing children. She recommended that USCIS: (1) standardize its practices of providing specialized training for officers adjudicating SIJ status, establish dedicated SIJ units at local offices, and complete adjudications within the statutory time frame; (2) stop requesting the evidence underlying state determinations of dependency; and (3) issue guidance regarding adequate evidence for SIJ filings, including general criteria for what triggers an interview for the SIJ petition, and make this information available on the USCIS website. The recommendations may be viewed at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/Citizenship-and-Immigration-Services-Ombudsman-Recommendation-Special-Immigrant-Juvenile-Adjudications.pdf.
ICE - ICE's Victim Assistance Program now has eighteen victim-assistance specialists on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The specialists are experienced in social work, child welfare, human rights, and counseling. Their primary goals are to ensure that crime victims' rights are protected, and that they receive immigration relief when necessary and have access to services. According to Marie Martinez, section chief for the Program, "We are the non-gun, non-badge-carrying personnel who are dedicated to victim's rights and services. The lion's share of our time is spent assisting victims of human trafficking and child exploitation."
ICE - ICE released a thirty-five-page "Tool Kit for Prosecutors" in April. It covers options for prosecutors who have witnesses, victims, or defendants who face removal for illegal presence. It is available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/osltc/pdf/tool-kit-for-prosecutors.pdf
DOS - The U.S. Embassy in Sana, Yemen, has temporarily suspended routine visa services. It is dedicating its limited resources to providing services to U.S. citizens only.
Loyola Law School - BIB Editorial Board member María Pabón López, professor of law at Indiana University School of Law and an expert in immigrants' rights, has been appointed as the new dean of the College of Law at Loyola University in New Orleans. She will begin work this summer. A native of Puerto Rico, she is bilingual and bicultural, having lived and worked in the law in both the United States and Latin America, and has taught law in several other regions of the world. At Indiana University, she has served a professor of law since 2008, associate professor of law 2006-08, and assistant professor of law 2002-06. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1989 and her B.A. in religion from Princeton University in 1985. She is a prolific author and recipient of many awards for her scholarly endeavors.
Human Rights Institute - The Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute published a new report, "Sent 'Home' with Nothing: The Deportation of Jamaicans with Mental Disabilities." Students at Georgetown Law, in partnership with the Human Rights Institute, based the report on seven months of research. According to the Institute, researchers visited Jamaica in January 2011 and conducted more than fifty interviews with deported persons, mental health professionals, civil society representatives, and government officials. To read the full report, go to www.law.georgetown.edu/humanrightsinstitute/documents/Sent.pdf.
Emerging Issues Analyses - Check the latest expert analysis of new developments on lexis.com and the Emerging Issues Law Center - Focus on Immigration at http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/ emergingissues/landing/focusonimmigration.aspx. Recent additions include a discussion of the Defense of Marriage Act (2011 Emerging Issues 5598) and former ICE head Julie Myers Wood's analysis of the Ninth Circuit decision on Arizona's S.B. 1070 (2011 Emerging Issues 5602).
[This is an excerpt from the May 15, 2011, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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